Western bowl eligible following win over Bowling Green
Published 2:48 pm Sunday, November 28, 2010
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — The Western Michigan football finished out its regular season with 41-7 win at Bowling Green on Friday afternoon to finish 6-6 and 5-3 in the MAC, reaching bowl eligibility for the third time in the last five seasons.
Jordan White, who went over 100 yards in a game for the seventh time this season, broke the single-season record for receiving yards, finishing with 1,378.
It is the third win in a row for the Broncos and the first time since 1998 Western Michigan finished a year with three-straight victories. WMU outscored its final three opponents 114-40, allowing just 10 points over the last two games.
White entered the game needing just nine yards to eclipse Jamarko Simmons for the single-season record in receiving yards and that occurred on his first catch, a 14-yard gain. The fifth-year receiver finished the game with 110 yards on seven catches and now holds the mark at 1,378 yards. He also now holds the record for 100-yard receiving games in a season, eclipsing the mark he shared with Simmons and Greg Jennings.
On the other side of the field stood Juan Nunez, needing 63 yards for the first 1,000-yard season of his career. He was 19 yards away from the mark at halftime and needed nine yards to reach the plateau when he hauled in his only touchdown of the day from 31 yards out to seal the deal. White and Nunez are the first receiving duo to each go over 1,000 yards in a season since Greg Jennings and Kendrick Mosley did so in 2003. White and Nunez are the most prolific receiving tandem in program history in terms of combined yards in a season (2,410) and combined TDs (20).
They are the only two receivers to each have 10 TDs in a season as well, and will likely end the week as the only two teammates in the country to each have 0ver 90 receptions – White, 94; Nunez, 91.
Western Michigan scored on each of its first four drives and did not allow Bowling Green to experience a first down until the second quarter. In 21-mile winds, the Broncos opened the scoring with a 42-yard John Potter field, matching his longest of the season, to cap an eight-play drive.
On the next drive, also eight plays, the Broncos found the end zone when Alex Carder, who threw for 251 yards on 23-for-33 passing on Friday, hit Blake Hammond from four yards out. It was Hammond’s third TD of the season and first since Nicholls State. Potter nailed the PAT and would go on to make four more to break the single-season record for consecutive PATs (50) as well as the career mark at 72.
He now ranks seventh in Mid-American Conference history. Potter also made good on two field goals in a game for the second time this year.
After Potter’s second field goal gave the Broncos a 13-0 lead, Western Michigan found the end zone once more on another four-yard TD pass, this time from Carder to Dareyon Chance. Carder’s third TD went to Dallas Walker from seven yards out, giving WMU touchdown tosses to two different tight ends in a game for the second time in 2010.
Bowling Green didn’t get on the board until the 11:31 mark of the third quarter when Matt Schilz found Kamar Jorden in the end zone from 19 yards out. It was the first time this season WMU had shut out a team in the first half and it was also the first time this year BGSU had gone without scoring a point in the first half.
Tevin Drake registered his second-straight 100-yard rushing game, finishing with 127 yards on 10 carries. That total was aided with a 55-yard run from the Broncos’ three-yard line and a 35-yard scoring run up the middle, shedding stiff-arming tacklers on his way to the end zone at the 9:53 mark of the third quarter.
Western Michigan capped the scoring on Carder’s 31-yard tear drop pass to Nunez with 42 seconds left in the third. Nunez finishes the year with 1,032 yards and Carder, who threw for four or more TDs in a game for the fourth time this season, ends the regular season with 3,334 passing yards and 30 TDs. He is only the third QB to throw for 30 or more TDs in a season at WMU and his passing yards total also ranks third in a season in program history with the sixth best completion percentage in a year at 63.1 percent.
Defensively, Western Michigan forced the Falcons into three-and-outs on their first four possessions and five total for the game. The Broncos forced two turnovers, one on a fumble recovery by Johnnie Simon on a kick off and another on Mario Armstrong’s fifth interception of the season. Jamail Berry led the team in tackles with 11 and finished with 94 for the year. Mitch Zajac, finishing with seven stops on Friday, is the team leader with 97 tackles on the year.